BPI was in the AO [area of operations] before BW

On August 24, 2005 the tropical storm Katrina was given its name.  On August 25, 2005 she weakened over land as she crossed into the state of  Florida and was below hurricane intensity.  However. Katrina redeveloped her intensity  as she entered into the Gulf of Mexico. On August 27, 2005 Katrina hit category 3 and reached category 5 by the next day.  She weakened again as she traveled the coast near Louisiana and for a few hours went back out to see only to return and do her devastation.

On the evening of August 27, 2005 I received a call from an oil mogul who had a residence in New Orleans.  He was assertive in his tone and portrayed a sense of power and confidence.  He wanted me to get guys on the ground and protect his property as he evacuated from the area.  When the potential client called they had not grounded flights into Louis Armstrong New Orleans Airport however we knew that it was a matter of time.  We made contract agreements and faxed copies back and forth to solidify the detail.  I activated 2 specialists, one who had spent a measurable amount of time in New Orleans and the other who had done a couple rotations with BW, but had worked many BPI details prior to his BW deployments.  On September 1, 2005 we packed enough MRE’s and water for them to survive 30 days with a contingency plan to get more in at a later date.  The cargo was packed and we headed to the airport.  Handguns and long guns were declared at the airport and they shipped off with the understanding that I needed to be contacted when they hit the ground.  Once on the ground they would go through a series of transfers that could line the pages of a best selling fictional book.

My client had a huge influence over the city of New Orleans and had assets to match.  He made arrangements that when my team got on the ground at the New Orleans airport a “guy” who had flown helicopters for “some agency” in the past would chopper them in restricted airspace to a local [nationally known] University.  As they would land on the top parking deck there would be a row boat for them to make it to his residence.  Sounds made up?  It’s the God’s honest truth.  The got in the boat and began rowing to the residence under the cloak of darkness.  By the time they landed water was well over 4 to 5 feet high in most areas and higher in others.  As they neared some of the building on the campus attempting to exit the campus they were had high powered lights shown on them and were asked to, “Halt!”  The specialist fresh from the box, went straight into a contact reaction because we all knew that there would be looters running rampant.  Call-sign “Disco” de-escalated the confrontation after he realized that the people behind the lights were campus police who had set up a perimeter around the school.  After credentials were shown they were allowed to proceed to the residence.

After rowing through thr directions given by the client they arrived at the residence and made sure by looking at the photo that was supplied in the OpOrder.  Water in this specific neighborhood had risen above the first level which caused them to gain access through a window on teh second level.  By the time they had disembarked and entered the residence the entire city was pitch black with no electric  and limited to no cell coverage.  The client had a small generator he had left for the team as well as the chopper pilot was left with gas for the team.  They set up and stayed awake through the first night in order to get a gauge for their environment.

The very next day, they assessed the situation and accessed the roof through the attic to call me.  After a quick hotwash on their insertion I immediately called the client to let him know he was covered.  The team stayed there for over 60 days with one rotation.  Many odd encounters occurred after other security teams started trickling in the AO, but BPI Security was there first.  The crux of the security teams arrived well after the water receded and vehicles were able to traverse the area amidst the residential carnage.  2 weeks into the OP I traveled to the area and stayed a couple days with the team.  By the time I arrived the National Guard and police were well into their searches for survivors and those who were not able to survive our country’s biggest natural disaster.

So when you think or hear the name BPI Security remember we flew into the belly of the beast when others were struggling to get out.  When asked, my guys never balked on whether to go or not, but asked me how soon do we leave.  This is the core of who we are and what we do.  We were there well before Blackwater kitted up their first guy.  Side note here:  There was a massive email circulating from BW trying to ramp up men and women with law enforcement backgrounds.  If memory serves me right they were paying around $240 a day and allowing everyone to keep their gear.

I am getting together the pics and videos from that detail and will post them on the BPI Security Facebook fan page soon.

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